Cate Shortland to Direct Marvel's 'Black Widow'; Here's Everything We Know

Captain America: Civil War

After Marvel Studios reportedly vetted more than 70 women filmmakers for the job, then the selection was down to three shortlisted favorites, Cate Shortland has been hired to direct the solo Black Widow movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter

Shortland is a relatively unknown filmmaker who hails from Australia. But she’s been a big deal on the festival circuit with award-winning shorts and features, the latter including the 2012 Nazi drama Lore and last year’s Sundance selection Berlin Syndrome.

Apparently, Scarlett Johansson, who will reprise her role as Black Widow for the Marvel Cinematic Universe installment, pushed for Shortland. Find out more below.

Previous update: Fans have been begging Marvel for a Black Widow movie for almost a decade and now the dream is finally coming alive. The presumably titled Black Widow will likely feature Scarlett Johansson in the title role, which she’s portrayed already in six installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including this year’s Avengers: Infinity War

The latest status update on the project is that Marvel is still trying to decide on a director best suited for the spin-off. The studio knows they want a woman for the job, and after talking to many, many candidates, they may have settled on just a few final contenders: according to Deadline, they are Cate Shortland (Berlin Syndrome), Amma Asante (Belle) and Maggie Betts (Novitiate).

As we wait for one of these filmmakers (or someone else) to sign on, here’s everything we know about Black Widow so far:

What is the plot of the solo Black Widow movie? 

While there is no official word on the Black Widow synopsis, reportedly the movie will be a prequel of some kind, possibly shedding more light on Natasha Romanoff’s origins in Russia and leading up to her MCU introduction in Iron Man 2. Whatever the story, though, we can expect the plot to fit the spy movie genre. 

Who is writing the script? 

That would be Jac Schaeffer, who wrote and directed the 2009 indie sci-fi rom-com Timer and more recently worked on the scripts for Disney’s Frozen short Olaf’s Frozen Adventure and the upcoming women-led Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remake, The Hustle, starring Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson. 


Who is directing? 

Cate Shortland, the Autralian filmmaker behind such festival darlings as Lore and Berlin Syndrome, has landed the gig helming the solo Black Widow movie. 

Scarlett Johansson will still be in the role, right? 

As far as anyone knows, the role of Black Widow won’t be recast, even if the movie is a prequel set more than a decade ago. She did make it out of Infinity War alive, so the movie also could be set afterward. But we’re all still waiting to see if she survives whatever happens in the next Avengers sequel. One thing is for sure: Johansson wants and deserves her own solo MCU installment. 

When does it come out? 

Marvel hasn’t made an official announcement on when Black Widow could come out, but hopefully we’ll hear something (and get something) soon.